Thirty-four years ago, I met the love of my life, and we’ve been together ever since. Greg and I dated for nine years before we were married in Cape Town, South Africa, twenty-five years ago today. Marrying my soulmate was hands down the best decision I’ve made. I am extremely blessed to be sharing life’s fun and great adventure with my best friend.
When we met, I was seventeen and Greg was ten days shy of nineteen. We had an instant connection and lots of chemistry, and that continues to this day. Greg and I are quite different in some ways, and fundamentally the same in others. I’m loud, energetic, fiery, chatty, excitable, extroverted, impatient, decisive, and wear my heart on my sleeve. Greg is quiet, cerebral, a deep thinker, introverted, patient, understated, and extremely logical and level-headed. We are both opinionated, strong, passionate, creative, hard-working, laugh a lot, and besotted with our doggies. We share many of the same interests, have similar aesthetic and culinary tastes, and complement each other in a lasting and meaningful way.
But best of all, we grew up together and became the adults we are today with each other’s guidance, reassurance, and support. We learn from our mistakes, and give each other the time and space when we need it. The familiarity between us greatly enriches our relationship. Our mutual respect and admiration amplifies our affection for one another.
Our families and friends were awfully excited for us to tie the knot in 1996, and we were too. We had a short engagement, and were married as soon as we could secure the right venue. We said our vows in the oldest church in South Africa. It was in a suburb called Rondesbosch. Close to the University of Cape Town, where we both did our bachelor degrees. We had our reception at the Peninsula Hotel by the water on Cape Town’s Atlantic Seaboard. Including us, there were 99 people at our wedding. Except for the rain (and even that is supposedly a good omen) it was a perfect day.
I was a calm and organized bride, and Greg was a chill groom. I designed my own dress and had it made by an extremely skilled 82-year-old seamstress who didn’t use a pattern. She took my measurements, studied my sketches, and cut straight into the fabric. A couple of weeks later I had my first fitting in a tacked-together dress, and it was pretty close to what I had imagined. Classic, fluidly tailored, comfortable, sleeved, a long train with a low-slung back, and no veil. I added gold disco sandals with statement buckles on my feet, wore my Mum’s Mikimoto peal earrings, threw in a bit of a ‘60s hairstyle, and that was that.
Greg did a smashing job with his look, which I had little to do with. I remember suggesting that he wear nice shoes and asking him to surprise me! He did just that by choosing a Nehru collared shirt for under his tuxedo, and I loved it. His look was interesting, strong, and understated. Much like the man I was about to marry.
There are things that I don’t remember about our wedding day, but fun and important things that I do. I remember arriving early and waiting in the car for more of the guests to arrive before walking down the aisle. I remember seeing Greg at the altar, and being filled with an unprecedented amount of joy, peace and excitement. I don’t remember tasting our Mediterranean buffet, but I do remember that multiple guests said it was delicious. I remember the beautifully intimate setting of the reception, the view of the ocean, magic light, and exquisite flowers my Mum arranged. I remember leaving our reception early while our guests partied on. And I remember smiling so much that day that my cheekbones ached with exhaustion.
Here, I’m toasting to the groom after my speech. I was elated.
This is my favourite wedding photo of Greg, with his nieces, who were our flower girls. So handsome, kind, strong, smart, smiley, and gentle.
This is our favourite wedding photo because it perfectly captures a fun and typical moment for us. Me pulling a face, and Greg cracking up. As the rose petals were scattered, I said to Greg, “Oh, no! I think the petals went down there!” Rose petals had indeed made it down the front of my dress, and I fished them out later.
We planned a trip back to Hong Kong to celebrate our silver wedding anniversary, but that is on hold because of the global pandemic. In the meantime, we’ve taken today off and are celebrating in Seattle with our Yorkies Sam and Jo. Happy Anniversary to the life partner of my dreams, who I would marry all over again and in a very similar dress.